Wednesday, 27 August 2014

wedding dresses 1775 - 2014 @ the v&a


I finally had the opportunity to visit London a few weeks ago, and the most important thing for me to do when I got there was to visit the V&A. I've been wanting to visit the museum for years, and there were some particular books that featured the museum in it that made me want to visit it even more... so finally getting the chance to visit it literally made my week! 

Unfortunately, for any of the special exhibitions at the V&A you are not allowed to take any photographs, so even though I really wanted to, you weren't allowed!
I was lucky to be able to borrow my cousin's membership card so my sister and I could get in to the very popular Wedding Dresses 1775 - 2014 exhibition. My poor sister hasn't got a real interest in art, but even she felt the exhibition was curated very well and the entire exhibition was, all in all, fantastic.

It was fascinating to see the history behind the wedding dress, starting from when a wedding dress was simply the best dress a woman had, or bought for the occasion, and then worn again and again afterwards.

Before Queen Victoria, a wedding dress was any colour, but for richer people it was an extravagant colour such as red or blue that cost a lot to produce, so they could show off their wealth. The majority of the dresses on show from the more recent past were not stuck behind glass so it was really easy to go up close and look at the detail behind the craftsmanship.

My favourite dresses in the collection were the couple dresses from the 1970s which were mini dresses, and I think it was mainly from the fact they were so simple, but when worn oozed a very rebellious sort of elegance. I'm certain that when it comes to me wearing a wedding dress, I'll be rocking a simple silk mini dress!

But my absolute favourite item in the exhibition was a beautifully tailored coat, where all the decorations had actually been painted on! From circa 1971, you can see that there's a lovely contrast between the cream base of the wool crepe fabric and the decorative flowers, which I think makes it very aesthetically pleasing. It really looks like it has simple been stitched on, but on closer inspection you can see that has been very finely painted on with a great care for attention. The story behind it is that the bride's mother did not want her to wear white as the bride was marrying a divorce! You can read more about the coat, designed by Richard Cawley for Bellville Sassoon, here.

I also posted this over at my new very professional textile-y blog, which you can go check out here. The number of different tumblr blogs, and now with this new blogger blog, is now up to a pretty large amount! They all have varying degrees of formality and use, and I do post on them all! I'm going to attempt to write up a list of all of my tumblrs, blogs, websites etc. and I'll stick them somewhere useful on each of the websites, so that people can easily find them all!

Hope you enjoyed this review of the exhibition!

ciao and stay wiggly
jean
xoxoxoxo

The Wedding Dresses exhibition is being shown at the V&A until 15 March 2015, for more info check out vam.ac.uk